The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

October 18, 2013

Palestine firefighting team going to World Combat Challenge XXII

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PALESTINE —

And this year is the best they've ever done, they said.

"(An event official) said this was the hardest two minutes in sports -- we believe it," team veteran Ingram joked. "The crews that compete in these events are some of the finest athletes in the world."

Quinonez added, "This is the first year we had a real chance. Other years we did our best, but we really weren't able to seriously compete with some of the departments before."

Each crew member competes in the event he's best suited for.

"It was very similar to what you have to go through when you're applying for a position with a department," Quinonez explained. "What are your strengths, what are you not so strong at, like, Nate climbs because he's got long legs -- we each do the event we're strongest at, but we train in all the events, just like on the job."

Participating in the competitions isn't required of the firefighters, but all five agree, being members of the team is just a reflection of their love of being members of the fire department.

"There's a lot of dignity in being a firefighter," Starling, the team's newest member, said. "It's more than just wearing the shirt, it's a way of life."

One they acknowledge they wouldn't be able to do half so well without the support of the community and especially of Battalion Chief Mike Phillips.

"The chief is great," Quinonez said. "He supports us 100 percent and we really appreciate that. We just want to represent Palestine and show 'em what we can do!"

Reed added, "Seeing the flags hanging in the bay helps the legacy live on, and anytime we add another one, it's a great feeling."

Residents or businesses interested in sponsoring the team's upcoming trip to Nevada can call Ingram, 903-729-7100, or the Palestine Fire Department, 903-729-3552 to donate funds or supplies.

 

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